Marvin Lewis News Conference
Paul Brown Stadium
August 13, 2014
“As we look forward to the Jets … they’ve done a really good job of adding some new guys, particularly offensive skill guys to their football team. Some of them got a chance to play a little bit last week, but I would expect they would play more in this upcoming game. It’s a really good game for us to play with the quarterbacks Geno Smith, Michael Vick and last week (Matt) Simms, who got to play quite a bit. It will be a great challenge for us defensively. We know their defense against our offense and their explosive front group, a physical group, and how they play up front is going to be a good match for our players.”
It seems to be a general consensus among the coaches and players that
“He does keep doing good things. We’re going to keep pressing him, and keep giving him opportunity to do those things and keep growing. Coming on as a rusher is important for us as he continues to take positive steps.”
When you see a guy throw a blocker over, that’s kind of what you envision when you draft a guy like that...
“Well that’s the good part of it, the fact that he can extend and roll through the hips and use that power and leverage. He also has great speed, and long arms and those kind of traits that good pass rushers have. You have to continue to just work harder at working with moves, pass rush progression, and what he has done, and try to improve his repertoire of moves, and his reaction and counters all the time.”
How much does he kind of have to finish some of that too? You’ve talked before about just being right there getting to the quarterback but maybe overrunning him, just not quite finishing...
“I don’t know about overrunning the quarterback, because the defense wants to overrun and always surround, because then the next guy should make the play. It’s part of playing, and playing hard and finishing the snap each and every down.”
Can you talk about how this team will adjust with
“We’ve got a lot of time between now and then to see what happens. There’s a lot of different players and different combinations of players and personnel groups that we’ll use. They’re out there practicing right now, trying to earn an opportunity.”
How often do you see a young guy do something in a preseason game that totally changes your evaluations you had of him?
“I don’t know if you have total change, but you just want to keep seeing the progress from out here on the field, to going out there when it’s live and then you have something to continue to build upon. It’s hard to have defensive guys working at their craft out here when they need to stay away from the quarterback. It’s kind of the opposite.
“Now, in the game, all of the sudden it’s time to make sure we finish the whole thing because there’s some violence to playing that spot and some recklessness that needs to occur. And it’s okay to have that recklessness when it’s live out there, but we don’t want to quite have that recklessness when it’s here. I don’t think I can recall saying ‘Well, that really shocks me’ one way or another.”
Are there any moments or plays from past preseasons that really stand out in your mind?
“We’ve had guys make a lot of plays in the preseason that helped them stay around here, and that’s important. This is a great opportunity for them to show. That’s the one thing we’ve tried to do as a coaching staff, to give these guys an opportunity to play. As long as mentally they can handle it and they’re not going to hurt the football team that way -- they know what to do is I guess what I’m getting at -- we’ve given them an opportunity to go in and play, which for them that’s all they can ask for. It’s a chance to get themselves out there on tape, and if there’s not enough opportunity here maybe it happens somewhere else. I hope we’ve given guys those kind of opportunities in order to show well.”
There’s always chatter about the future of the preseason in the NFL. If it were to trend to two games, how challenging would that be for coaches to see enough tape of guys?
“It would be a challenge, and I think everybody would to try and work against another team, maybe two teams possibly (in practice). But you would want exposure against guys in other helmets. Not necessarily live, but it’s great for the skill players to work against different configurations, different coverages, different plays, schemes, passing concepts, tempo and so forth. I think you would look to do a little bit more of that if it went that way.”
Last year you guys did joint practices with Atlanta and you obviously know Rex Ryan fairly well. Were you guys close to getting that done with the Jets?
“Yeah, Rex and I were pretty close on it. It just kind of fell apart at the last second. Obviously Rex and I have worked together, and are good friends, and a lot of our coaches have worked with their coaches. Mark (Carrier) was a part of their staff, and Marty Mornhinweg and I have been friends for a long time. I thought it would be a good relationship where our coaches would know their coaches enough, and we could get it done. But as I said, it kind of fell apart at the end.”
Was it just the logistics that could be pretty challenging?
“Yeah, I think both teams just have to agree to agree. It worked out great for us last year and maybe in the future it will work out again.”
What are your impressions of
“I think Ryan has really done a nice job for us. He’s handled things well. He’s playing tight end/H-back/fullback, whatever you want to call those positions we have, and he’s handled it well both physically and mentally. As a receiver he’s done a nice job. As an interior blocker he’s done a good job. I really think he’s got a bright future.”
How much do you expect
“We’ll see, 15-20-25 plays, I don’t know. We’ll see how the game goes, and how we are when we put the team together on Saturday to see who’s out there and who’s suited up and who’s not. That will determine how much and when to take him out. That’s how I kind of do it. When I’ve seen enough, then I start substituting players.”
“I think Danieal, being a veteran player coming out of a different scheme, had to make the transition in terminology and so forth. It was this technique compared to what it was called before in his background, and I think he’s done a good job understanding the concepts more. Obviously he feels comfortable around Vance (defensive backs coach Vance Joseph), but it’s getting to the rest of the nuances of the defense that he’s had a chance to do. He plays fast. I think that’s what shows his experience. It allows him to go out there and play fast. He knows this is a very competitive situation, so he brings that to the table. I thought he really stepped up and played well when the lights came on.”
What are you looking for out of that safety spot that you didn’t get last year?
“Well, I was pleased with what
The hybrid TE/H-Back/FB position, do you like the versatility of that or do you like that power FB type of player?
“I think we want a little combination of both, so we probably want more of that guy that can add pressure on the defense: be an effective blocker, but also add pressure in matchups vs. the defense. Ryan (Hewitt) can provide a little bit of that. He’s an excellent receiver. And overall, it’s just not been too big for him. As he grows and if he’s fortunate enough to stay around here, I think by next year we’ll have a real, real, real big physical man. He’s going to be a big person.”
Has your attitude on that position changed as the game has changed in the last four or five years?
“I don’t know that my attitude has changed much. It’s just a matter of where you put your team together. A guy like that can make the 46-man (game day) roster stronger if he’s filling roles on special teams as well. I think Ryan has an opportunity to do that as well for us.”
“Orson has done that in the past, and he’s in a dogfight with these other guys who have come on, and that’s what you want for your football team. We have competition and opportunity for guys to go out and prove they belong to stay.”
“I don’t know. He’s got a sore shoulder. That’s how Newhouse is.”
Any updates on
“As soon as the trainers feel like he’s good enough to go (smiles).”
Back to the H-Back, he’s going to be lead back one minute and the next he’s in space ...
“It puts pressure on the defense if he can go out there as we did with Tyler (Eifert) last year doing different things. We didn’t put Tyler in that direct downhill lead situation very often, but he was part of a lot of interior runs. It adds flexibility and the ability to make them have two edges, which expands the defense and provides more opportunities in the middle of the defense.”
If Jason Campbell can’t go, do you think
“Yes. When you’ve been sitting on the street, you learn fast. Anytime you put a quarterback in the game, the offense is what quarterback is and what he knows. That’s the way it works for any quarterback or linebacker or whatever position we put them out there for. We can only do what they know. I don’t care if you’re playing cornerback or quarterback. I do think he’s been able to learn things to go out and operate. Second and a half day here, and he had plays in practice. He handled the verbiage and the terminology well and the adjustments he needed to make. He did a good job.”
Are you concerned about about
“No, I’m not (smiles).”